George W., James E. and William H. Davis

George W. Davis was born November 17, 1839, in Ottawa or Kent County, Michigan, the son of John (b. 1802) and Loretta (b. 1807).

Connecticut native John married New York-born Loretta, and they settled in New York, probably in Orleans County, where they were living in about 1832 when their son James was born. John eventually moved his family west and settled in Michigan by about 1834 when his son Thomas was born. He may have been the same John Davis living in Kent County, in 1840. In any case, John moved the family to Tallmadge, Ottawa, and by 1850 George was attending school with five of his siblings, including his older brother James and younger William, both of whom along with George would join Company G, Third Michigan infantry in the spring of 1861. In 1850 their father was working as a laborer.

It is possible that John's wife died and that he married New York native Laura E. (b. 1832). In any case, by early June of 1860 John was working at rafting logs, along with his son William and living in Georgetown, Ottawa County, with several of his children, including his youngest daughter Martha A. Martha would in fact marry next door neighbor Wilber Bement the following month. And Wilber would enlist in Company I, Third Michigan infantry. (Nearby also lived George Weatherwax who would command Company I at the beginning of the war.)

It is unclear where George was working in the summer of 1860. He may have moved to the Clinton County area where his older brother James had settled. In any case, it appears that shortly after war broke out George became a member of the Lansing militia company called the “Williams’ Rifles”, which was formed largely of men who lived in the Lansing area, joining his older brother James who had married and settled in Clinton County, not far from Lansing, and who would also join the “Williams’ Rifles”.

George stood 5’4” with hazel eyes, auburn hair and a light complexion, and was 21 years old when he enlisted in Company G on May 10, 1861, along with his brothers James and William.

In any case, by early December of 1861 William was tenting with his brothers James and George Davis as well as Orville Ingersoll and Case Wickham; Case too was from Clinton County and his family originally came from Orleans County, New York (although Case had been born in Ohio). On December 3, 1861, Case wrote to his sister back in Michigan “J. E. & G. W. & W. H. Davis and O. C. Ingersoll send their respects to you in return for yours. They stay in the same tent with me. They are pretty good boys and we have some tall times once in a while.”

George was reported sick in the hospital in November of 1862, sick in the Division hospital from April of 1863 through May and a nurse in the Division hospital in June.

George apparently recovered his health and had returned to the Regiment by the time he reenlisted on December 21, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Lansing’s First Ward. He was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough, probably in Michigan, in January of 1864 and probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February. He was again reported absent sick in the hospital in May of 1864, and was a Musician on detached service at Division headquarters when he was transferred to Company F, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864.

At some point in 1864 George returned to Michigan and married Regina M. Huff in Parkville, St. Joseph County. They had at least seven children: William E. (b. 1865), Cora (b. 1869), George R. (b. 1875), Loren D. (b. 1876), Vincent (b. 1879) and twins Edith and Guinevere (b. 1882).

He was absent sick in July, on detached service in September, in October he was in the Division hospital and in November was a Division provost guard. For reason(s) unknown, he was discharged on April 28, 1865, at Washington, DC.

George eventually returned to Michigan and by 1880 he was living with his wife and children in Constantine, St. Joseph County.

He may have been living in Lansing in 1883 drawing $8.00 per month (pension no. 577751), and $50 per month by 1922.

George was residing in Constantine, St. Joseph County in 1890, 1909 and 1910 but the following year moved to Toledo, Ohio where he was living at 626 Oakwood in 1914, and at 1018 Norwood in 1915. By 1920 and 1922 he had returned to Michigan and was living at 1117 Fourth Street in Three Rivers, St. Joseph County.

He was also a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association. He may at one time have been a member of Grand Army of the Republic Dewey Post No. 60 in Lansing.

George was probably a widower when he died on February 26, 1922, possibly at his home in Three Rivers and if so is presumably buried there.

James E. Davis was born December 3, 1832, in Orleans County, New York, the son of John (b. 1802) and Loretta (b. 1807).

Connecticut native John married New York-born Loretta, and they settled in New York, probably in Orleans County, where they were living in about 1832 when their son James was born. John eventually moved his family west and settled in Michigan by about 1834 when his son Thomas was born. He may have been the same John Davis living in Kent County, in 1840. In any case, John moved the family to Tallmadge, Ottawa, and by 1850 James was working as a laborer and attending school with five of his younger siblings, including his brothers George and William, both of whom along with James would join Company G, Third Michigan infantry in the spring of 1861. In 1850 their father was working as a laborer.

It is possible that John's wife died and that he married New York native Laura E. (b. 1832). In any case, by early June of 1860 John was working at rafting logs, along with his son William and living in Georgetown, Ottawa County, with several of his children, including his youngest daughter Martha A. Martha would in fact marry next door neighbor Wilber Bement the following month. And Wilber would enlist in Company I, Third Michigan infantry. (Nearby also lived George Weatherwax who would command Company I at the beginning of the war.)

James left Ottawa County and moved to the Clinton County area, at least by the spring of 1860.

James was married to Eliza Smith (d. 1861), on May 14, 1860 at the home of her sister, Mrs. Lucy Rall at Watertown, Clinton County.

By 1860 James and his wife Eliza were working for and/or living with Charles Ball in Watertown, Clinton County.

It appears that James’ younger brother George may have moved to the Clinton County area to join his older brother James. In any case, shortly after war broke out George became a member of the Lansing militia company called the “Williams’ Rifles”, which was formed largely of men who lived in the Lansing area, joining his older brother James who had married and settled in Clinton County, not far from Lansing, and who would also join the “Williams’ Rifles”. In fact, James was one of the original members of the “Williams’ Rifles” of Lansing, a local militia company which would form the nucleus of Company G of the Third Michigan infantry, quite probably joining the company in 1859.

James stood 5’8” with hazel eyes, brown hair and a sallow complexion, and was a 28-year-old farmer and sawyer still living in Clinton County when he enlisted in Company G on May 10, 1861, along with his brothers George and William.

In any case, by early December of 1861 William was tenting with his brothers James and George Davis as well as Orville Ingersoll and Case Wickham; Case too was from Clinton County and his family originally came from Orleans County, New York (although Case had been born in Ohio). On December 3, 1861, Case wrote to his sister back in Michigan “J. E. & G. W. & W. H. Davis and O. C. Ingersoll send their respects to you in return for yours. They stay in the same tent with me. They are pretty good boys and we have some tall times once in a while.”
James was absent sick in the Regimental hospital in September and October of 1861, was present for duty from January of 1862 through June and absent sick in August. According to Homer Thayer of Company G, in early August James had been recommended for a discharge on account of disability.

In fact, on August 15 James was admitted to a general hospital, probably in Washington, and was very likely sent to a hospital in Baltimore in October. He was in Baltimore at West’s Building hospital on November 29 when he was discharged for “very bad hemorrhoidal tumors” which reportedly “bleed when at stool, and cause a great deal of pain.”

After his discharge James eventually returned to Michigan. They were living either in Wacoustra, Clinton County or Delta, Eaton County, where his wife Eliza died.

He married his second wife New York native Mrs. Eliza or Elizabeth D. Ketchum (nee Ferguson, 1837-1908), on March 18, 1865, in Grand Rapids, Kent County, Michigan, and they had at least two children: James (b. 1867) and Elsworth (b. 1870). Eliza was a widow, her first husband Emerson Ketchum had died in 1863.

He was probably working as a sawyer and living with Eliza and their young son James in Grand Rapids’ Second Ward in 1870; also living with them were 13-year-old George Ketchum and his younger brother Mortimer. In 1880 James was working “at sawing” and living with his wife and two sons in Grand Rapids. James was working as a sawyer and living in Grand Rapids’ Fifth Ward with his wife Eliza, their two sons and the two Ketchum boys (also listed in the census as “sons”) as well as Eliza’s mother June.

James was probably living in Ionia, Ionia County in 1888, but by 1900 he was residing at 292 Travis Avenue in Grand Rapids and he worked as a laborer most of his life. He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association and Grand Army of the Republic Custer Post No. 5 in Grand Rapids.

In 1884 he applied for and received a pension (no. 424835).

James died of heart failure in Grand Rapids on March 24, 1908, of valvular heart disease, and was buried in Fairplains cemetery: section 1 lot 98.

In April of 1908 his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 655052).

William H. Davis was born in 1842 in Michigan, the son of John (b. 1802) and Loretta (b. 1807).

Connecticut native John married New York-born Loretta, and they settled in New York, probably in Orleans County, where they were living in about 1832 when their son James was born. John eventually moved his family west and settled in Michigan by about 1834 when his son Thomas was born. He may have been the same John Davis living in Kent County, in 1840. In any case, John moved the family to Tallmadge, Ottawa, and by 1850 William was attending school with five of his older siblings, including his brothers James and George, both of whom along with James would join Company G, Third Michigan infantry in the spring of 1861. In 1850 their father was working as a laborer.

It is possible that John's wife died and that he married New York native Laura E. (b. 1832). In any case, by early June of 1860 John was working at rafting logs, along with his son William and living in Georgetown, Ottawa County, with several of his children, including his youngest daughter Martha A. Martha would in fact marry next door neighbor Wilber Bement the following month. And Wilber would enlist in Company I, Third Michigan infantry. (Nearby also lived George Weatherwax who would command Company I at the beginning of the war.)

William was 19 years old and possibly living in Ottawa County or perhaps he had moved to Clinton County joining his older brothers James and George when all three enlisted in Company G on May 10, 1861.

William was erroneously reported as absent at Bull Run on July 21, 1861. According to an eyewitness, Davis was in fact with the company that day. “Davis,” wrote Frank Siverd of Company G on August 8, “was marked absent by mistake when the roll was called on the night of the 21st [of July, after the Union fiasco Bull Run], and was consequently wrongly reported” as absent.

In any case, by early December of 1861 William was tenting with his brothers James and George Davis as well as Orville Ingersoll and Case Wickham; Case too was from Clinton County and his family originally came from Orleans County, New York (although Case had been born in Ohio). On December 3, 1861, Case wrote to his sister back in Michigan “J. E. & G. W. & W. H. Davis and O. C. Ingersoll send their respects to you in return for yours. They stay in the same tent with me. They are pretty good boys and we have some tall times once in a while.”

And in early January of 1862 Case wrote home to his sister Amanda, saying that “I want you to be punctual about writing for I am not the only one that looks forward with pleasure to the day when we expect a letter from you. Billy Davis asks me every Thursday if I have got a letter from Amanda and if I have not he is just as much disappointed as I be. He says that he never saw you but he knows that you are a brick.

Sometime afterwards William was detached as wagoner and was working as a wagoner in November and December of 1862, and a wagoner at Brigade headquarters from January to July of 1863. He reenlisted on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Lansing’s First Ward, and was absent in February of 1864, presumably still on veterans’ furlough.

William eventually returned to the Regiment probably in early March, although it is unclear whether he was still employed as a wagoner .

He was reported as a Corporal in May of 1864 when he was killed in action on May 5, 1864, during the Wilderness campaign. He was presumably buried among the unknown soldiers at the Wilderness.

No pension seems to be available.